The only individual time trial of this Giro and, boy, the organisers have made it a tough one.
Imagine for a moment you’re on the start ramp and trying to control the nerves as the seconds count down. 3-2-1 and you’re rolling away, powering up and facing a world of lactic acid-induced pain, screaming lungs, spit and snot. There’s no escape: it’s just you, the bike and a race against the clock. Make no mistake: today is going to be crucial. Get this wrong and you can wave goodbye to the podium.
Saturday 23 May: Stage 14 – Treviso to Valdobbiadene, 59.4km individual time trial
Look at the length of this monster! For a time trial, 59.4km is not something you see very often. In addition, the varying terrain en route makes this gargantuan test even trickier for riders to judge their effort. They start out with 30km of flat, perfect for churning those huge gears. But if they go too deep here, they’re going to struggle on the technical last half laden with climbs and tricky descents.
The San Pietro di Feletto shouldn’t give too many problems and then the riders have a 10km flat section to recover before the next climb. However, with gradients approaching 12%, the Santo Stefano is a huge test for tired legs – especially coming 4km from the finish. Another tricky descent and they’re on the home run into the uphill finish at Valdobbiadene.
On a lighter note, will anyone be able to match the fabulous pink booties worn by Nairo Quintana last year? We are in the wine region of the Venetto, so at the very least the Prosecco will be fabulous. Bubbles for everyone after this stage – they will have earned it.
Link: Official race website
Header image: Prosecco by Aureusbay under Flickr commons creative licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/aureusbay/8197859670